Monday, March 5, 2018
A Growing Pragmatic Movement in Puerh
Upon my return to puerh, I first thought it was a little unusual that there were more than a few people calling my recent posts “pragmatic”. Well, these days I try live my life minimally and pragmatically. I feel it’s a good way to think and live and enjoy the wonders of life. So, quite naturally, my puerh drinking and buying should reflect this I suppose.
It occurred to me recently that my pragmatic position on buying puerh tea may have been influenced by a larger pragmatist movement taking place in Canada right now and spreading quickly globally. In Canada there seem to be political, academic, and general philosophical branches in the current pragmatic movement gaining steam here. The first two branches seem to come from Canada’s recent history of pragmatic conservatism and a fringe academic, Jorden Perterson, who apparently is currently the bestselling author globally. I can’t say that I prescribe to any of these types of pragmatism.
I think the growing popularity of the pragmatic movement is a response to the recent “Post Truth” and “Sunny Ways” governments in the US and Canada as well as the general philosophy of those voters who elected them. To me, in a general sense, it speaks to looking at things matter of fact instead of getting caught up on emotion, marketing, philosophy, political correctness and branding.
How does this apply to puerh?
I think a pragmatic philosophy is especially needed when buying puerh outside of Asia. We are more at the whims of marketing and branding because the way most of us buy puerh here is online. I can tell you from experience that it is far easier to walk away from buying puerh in a teahouse in person than it is to resist the marketing of online vendors.
I actually think there is a pragmatic movement occurring in the puerh drinking world right now in the West. Just the last few weeks, for instance, there were two puerh bloggers suggesting to drinkers to use a more pragmatic perspective on buying puerh. Marshal’N of A Tea Addicts Journal lauds us to Buy Less, Buy Better and James of TeaDB suggests that we should focus on buying less and enjoying what you already have by Setting Down into Tea. Both of these posts challenge the current consuming culture of Western puerh purchasing habits. I think both offer great pragmatic wisdom to puerh buyers out there.
I think there is something to be said about pragmatic wisdom. It speaks to both a pragmatic approach and long enough experience to back that up. Essentially, the above bloggers are speaking with pragmatic wisdom and asking us to perhaps tap into our own.
This pragmatic movement in puerh circles indirectly challenges the Post-Truth construct of puerh consumption and marketing. I guess to some extent it is a challenge to all puerh vendors to step it up. In Cwyn’s Death By Tea’s yearly predictions she predicted that 2018 will be the year of the Testy Tea Customer as puerh market experiences decreased purchasing power.
Instead, I think 2018 might be the year of the Pragmatic Tea Customer.